13 November 2018 - Minister for Education and Skills invites applications from suitably qualified persons to fill vacancies on the Council of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

Tuesday 13th November 2018 Minister for Education and Skills invites applications from suitably qualified persons to fill vacancies on the Council of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, T.D., today announced that applications are now invited from suitably qualified and experienced persons to fill vacancies on the Councils of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).   

As provided for under legislation, three members of the NCSE and three members of the NCCA will be appointed by the Minister under separate processes which are being managed by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). 

The process follows revised procedures put in place in late 2014 for the appointment of persons to State Boards.

The three positions to be filled for the NCSE Council includes two nominees of the Minister for Education and Skills and one nominee of the Minister for Health. The three positions to be filled for the NCCA includes the Chairperson, a nominee of the Minister for Education and Skills and a nominee of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.   

Candidates for positions on the NCSE Council, to be established for the 4 year period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2022, must demonstrate evidence of a special interest or knowledge relating to the education of children with special educational needs as required by the EPSEN Act 2004. 

Candidates for positions in the NCCA are to be appointed for a three-year term. The Council is responsible for leading and directing the NCCA’s activities and candidates must demonstrate an appreciation of the strategic context in with the NCCA operates. 

Applications may only be made through the dedicated website stateboards.ie.

PAS will assess the expressions of interest received and provide the Minister for Education and Skills with a list of candidates deemed to be suitable for direct appointment to the NCSE Council and NCCA Council.

PAS will also provide a list of candidates to the Minister for Health deemed to be suitable for nomination to the NCSE Council and to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to a nominee to the NCCA Council.   

The closing date for the receipt of applications via www.stateboards.ie is 3pm on 3rd December 2018.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

National Council for Special Education (NCSE)

Establishment and Role of the Council of NCSE

The National Council for Special Education was established under the Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act, 2004 to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children.  The NCSE provides advice and information on special education to schools and parents; allocates resource teacher and special needs assistant supports to schools; undertakes and disseminates research into special education; and provides policy advice to the Minister for Education and Skills on issues relating to special education. The NCSE also has advisory roles in relation to the provision of specialist equipment/assistive technology for students and special school transport arrangements.

The general functions of the Council are set out in Section 20 of the EPSEN Act

In carrying out its functions under the Act, the Council is required to consult directly with stakeholders as necessary and to establish a formal national Consultative Forum representative of all the stakeholders.

From 21st March 2017, the remit of the National Council for Special Education was expanded with the establishment of a new Support Service to assist schools in supporting children with special educational needs.  This service includes the Special Education Support Service (SESS), the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) and the Visiting Teacher Service for children who are deaf/hard of hearing and for children who are blind/visually impaired (VTSVHI) which had been managed by the Department.

Further information on the work of the National Council for Special Education is available at www.ncse.ie.

Membership of the Board and terms of their Appointment

The Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act, 2004 provides that the Council shall compromise 13 members (at least 6 men and 6 women), including one Chairperson, all of whom are appointed by the Minister. 

Appointees to the Council are required to have a special interest in, or knowledge relating to, the education of children with special educational needs.

Section 21 (3) of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act, 2004, provides that the Minister is required to consult with national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations as well as recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers and principals of schools with a view, where the Minister considers it appropriate to do so, to appointing nominees of these bodies as members of the council.  The legislation provides that up to four such nominees may be appointed to the Council in this manner.

Two members of the Council are required to be appointed from persons nominated by the National Disability (NDA) with a further appointee being nominated by the Minister for Health.

Guidelines for the Appointment to State Boards 2014

The guidelines generally require that members to State Boards should be selected under an appointment process under the Public Appointments Service (PAS), subject to exceptions which are set out under Section 9 of the Guidelines.

Those exceptions which are relevant to the current appointment process are:

  • Under S9.1.1 of the Guidelines a specific mechanism for filling vacancies on a State Board is laid down in legislation. (in this case Section 21 of EPSEN)
  • Under S9.1.5 of the Guidelines, Members may be reappointed to a second term where the Minister is satisfied having consulted with the Chair that the Board member has already demonstrated through their performance as a member of the State Board their effectiveness and contribution which warrants their re-appointment.
  • Under S9.1.7 of the Guidelines, the Minister is appointing an official from her Department.

The composition of the current Council is: 

Council Member Selection Note

Council Member Names

Statutory

 Eamon Stack Chairperson

 Statutory

 Séan O’Murchú, Department Inspector

 Statutory

 Sheelagh Drudy

Stakeholder (CPMSA)

 Helen Guinan

Stakeholder (NDA)

 Tom O’Sullivan

Stakeholder (NDA)

 Eithne Fitzgerald

Stakeholder (National Parents Council)

 Áine Lynch

Stakeholder ( Association of Community & Comprehensive   Schools)

 Antoinette Nic Gearailt

Stakeholder (Church of Ireland)

 Finian O’Shea

Statutory

 Don Mahon

Statutory

 Joe Hayes

Stakeholder (Department of Health)

 Marion Meany, Head of Disability Services, HSE

Statutory

 Anne Tansey, Director of NEPS

Remuneration

There is no remuneration or fee for the position.

Travel and subsistence allowances will be paid in respect of journeys undertaken to attend meetings of the Board or to transact its business.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)

The NCCA was established under the Education Act 1998 and the object of the Council shall be to advise the Minister on matters relating to –

(a)    The curriculum of early childhood education, primary and post-primary schools, and

(b)    The assessment procedures employed in schools and examinations of subjects which are part of the curriculum.

The Council also has two sub-committees – an Audit and Risk Committee and a Governance Committee.  As part of NCCA structures there are three Boards that report to the Council on Early Childhood and Primary, Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle.  These three Boards are chaired by the two Deputy Chairs and another Council member.

The NCCA currently has a full time executive staff of 48 led by the Chief Executive.

In 2018, the NCCA was grant funded by the Department in the amount of circa. €5.5m. 

The website of the NCCA is available at www.ncca.ie

Functions of the Council:

The Council is responsible for directing the NCCA’s activities, providing strategic guidance to the executive team and monitoring the effectiveness of management.

There are no fees payable to members of the Council.

Gender balance

In accordance with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, the Minister will take account of gender balance when making appointments to the Council, aligning with the Government’s commitment to achieve a target of 40% representation of each gender on all State Boards.

Appointment of nominated members to State Boards

The legislation provides that the remaining Council members are nominees of relevant organisations and nominations are being sought from the relevant nominating bodies to fill the remaining Council posts.

The Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards specifies that there are certain exemptions relating to the appointment of persons to state boards including -

“Where an agreement or arrangement is in place under which Ministers seek nominations for appointment to State Boards from key stakeholder organisations (such as trade unions, employer organisations, farming representatives or voluntary bodies)”.

Expressions of Interest

Submission of Expressions of Interest in the filling of vacancies on the NCCA Board may be made through the following link - 

http://stateboards.ie/stateboards/

The composition of the NCCA is as follows:-

  1. One Chairperson.
  2. One Vice-Chairperson nominated by the Joint Managerial Body.
  3. One Vice-Chairperson nominated by the Irish National Teachers Organisation.
  4. One nominee of the Minister for Education and Skills
  5. One Representative of the Joint Managerial Body.
  6. One Representative of the Irish Vocational Education Association.
  7. One Representative of the Catholic Primary Schools Managers Association.
  8. One Representative of the Church of Ireland Board of Education.
  9. One Representative of the National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education.
  10. Two Representatives of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland.
  11. Two Representatives of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland.
  12. Two Representatives of the Irish National Teachers Organisation.  
  13. One Representative of the Irish Federation of University Teachers.
  14. One Representative of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation.
  15. One Representative of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
  16. One Representative of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools.
  17. One Representative of the National Parents Council (Primary).
  18. One Representative of the National Parents Council (Post-Primary).
  19. One Nominee of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
  20. One Representative of Foras na Gaeilge.
  21. One Representative of the State Examinations Commission.
  22. One Representative of the Department of Education and Skills.